Rody: US never apologized for 2002 Davao incident
(The Philippine Star) - October 23, 2016 - 10:09pm

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – President Duterte slammed anew the United States for not apologizing for whisking away a British-American who was a suspect in a blast that ripped his hotel room here in 2002.

Duterte said until now the case of Michael Meiring, the suspected Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) agent who posed as a miner exploring a site in Southern Mindanao, remains a mystery to him.

Authorities discovered boxes of explosives inside Meiring’s room at the Evergreen Hotel during investigation of the blast. Meiring is facing corresponding charges at a local court here for the explosion.

Duterte claimed Meiring had been carrying explosives in and out of Davao City for several years. 

“He was hosted at Evergreen Hotel. He did not allow the cleaner to enter his room and for five years, he was in and out of Davao City. One day, there was an explosion. It burned the hotel. He was brought to the hospital. He lost both of his legs,” Duterte said upon arrival at the Davao International Airport yesterday from a state visit in China.

Duterte recounted that a day after Meiring was admitted at the Davao Doctors Hospital, a Citation aircraft of the US embassy landed at the Davao International Airport and Meiring was spirited out of the hospital without properly informing Davao City authorities.

“They said they had to bring him to Makati Medical Center for better medical treatment facilities, whatever. But what they really did was to fly out Meiring to Singapore and shimmied him to the United States,” the President said. 

Duterte also recounted that for a week, then US Ambassador to the Philippines Francis Ricciardone talked to him and promised that a full-scale investigation on the incident will be conducted. But until now, he has not received even a simple note. 

Duterte also said he is appalled by the continued refusal of the US to explain what happened to Meiring.

“No explanation. I’ve been waiting for that report. But until now, I haven’t received anything, so I really did not know what was the mystery about,” the President said.

“It has not really appeased me at all. Binastos tayo ng America (America disrespected us),” he added.

Duterte stressed that even now that he is president, the US still has not bothered to explain what happened to Meiring as a courtesy to him.

“Now this America, if their sovereignty is violated, they will raise hell. They will go to war. But what they did to us, there wasn’t even an apology or anything. I forgot it. Now, the time comes when I am president,” he added.

The President revealed that Meiring’s case was brought up by a man who introduced himself as being from the CIA during the campaign for the May presidential elections. 

Duterte met the supposed CIA man the following morning. 

“We met almost four o’clock in the morning. I was very tired from a campaign sortie from that night and he told me, and these are his exact words: ‘Mayor, can we let this thing pass?’ I said forget it. Sabi ko, wala man rin akong magawa (anyway I can’t do anything),” Duterte said.

Duterte lamented anew how the US, the United Nations and the European Union criticized him for his drug war, which is marked by allegations of summary killings and human rights violations, when they have bigger issues to deal with in their own backyards.

Duterte also vowed never to set foot in the US because the US has disrespected Filipinos.

“That is why I am not going there, not in this lifetime. T*** ina inaabuso kasi tayo ng mga walang hiya (those unconscionable people are abusing us),” the President said.

Duterte reportedly instructed his staff to find other routes when he goes to Peru for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum next month instead of passing through the US.

RODRIGO DUTERTE
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